After eight years of intensive work, a team of Ben-Gurion University scientists has overcome the “blood brain barrier” that prevents drugs from passing into the brain and reaching specific targets to fight disease.
The system of synthetic nanoscale structures, called V-Smart drug delivery technology, also allows oral medications to pass through the epithelial tissue of the intestinal wall and other biological membranes; thus, the Beersheba researchers hope that injectable-only drugs for a variety of diseases could eventually be made in pill form.
The breakthrough technology, which uses microscopic, bubble-like membranous structures known as vesicles...
Despite great advances in therapeutic drugs, the problem of unwanted side effects remains a serious obstacle to treating patients. Most adverse effects are the result of a drug’s interaction with locations in the patient’s body that are not relevant to its medicinal action. But if an effective delivery system can make medications more available at target locations, the amount of harmful side effects is much reduced.
The V-Smart delivery system could be especially relevant to diseases of the central nervous system, from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis, amyotropic lateral sclerosis and neurological complications of HIV, as well as brain cancers...
Heldman also said that BGU and Lauren Sciences, where he is chief scientific officer, had recently been awarded two prestigious research grants, one from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to develop the delivery of proteins in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the other from the Campbell Foundation for delivery of the antiretroviral drug Tenofovir for treatment of neuro- HIV.